Disparity Between Scores on WISC IV
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
Q: My son, age 6, just took
the WISC-IV. He shows one obvious strength in Perceptual Reasoning. My question
is, does the disparity between this subscore and the others simply demonstrate a
strength or does it, due the relative weaknesses of the other subscores, indicate
a need for further testing?
Verbal Comprehension - 104
Similarities - 12
Vocabulary - 12
Comprehension - 9
Perceptual Reasoning - 135
Block design - 15
Picture Concepts - 19
Matrix Reasoning - 13
Working Memory - 102
Digit span - 11
Letter Number Seq - 10
Processing Speed - 100
Coding - 8
Symbol Search - 10
Thank you for your time.
To answer your question, at a first glance it does represent very
superior strength in on area with relative weaknesses in others. At the
same time, this is not normal and may be indicative of some concerns
(learning concern/s) and further testing is required. I would assume
that instead of the Full Score (FSIQ), the administrator would use the
General Ability Index score (GAI) since the difference is larger than 23
points. The PRI indicates superior strength whereas the other indexes
indicate average scores.
Children who have strengths in perceptual reasoning on the WISC IV are
generally considered visual-spatial learners. These children often do
best when presented with information in a “hands-on” manner, rather than
an auditory-sequential method. Check out
this site for
starters for more information on visual-spatial learners.
You would need to determine a few other factors as to why testing was
done. If the school did the testing, why was it done especially at this
stage? Did they see a potential or concern? Were any other tests given?
What behaviours drove the need for testing? WISC-IV is an individual
test and rather costly and if the school had done it, there has to be a
good reason. Is there any language concern? What about his auditory
processing skill; any reading, spelling, organization concerns? It would
be good to do further testing and get more information especially about
his auditory processing, sequencing, and most importantly language
processing. See a good psychologist or get referred for a
neuropsychological evaluation for further evaluation. He is very young
so if there is a need for intervention, this is a good time.
Hope that helps. Wishing you all the best.